Christel Marchand Aprigliano
Christel Marchand ApriglianoFounder
Diagnosed at twelve with Type 1 diabetes, Christel works with other prominent advocates to heighten public awareness and create meaningful positive changes in the diabetes community. She was the co-creator of diabeticfeed, the first podcast about diabetes and diabetes research and is considered a pioneer of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC).

She now devotes her efforts to many diabetes advocacy avenues, including: Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition, a non-profit dedicated to amplifying the diabetes voice on federal and state policies; The Diabetes Collective, Inc., which produces The DiabetesUnConference; and Diabetes Advocates, a program of the Diabetes Hands Foundation. You can find her thoughts on life with diabetes as a lifestyle columnist at and on her personal blog, Christel lives in the Southeast with her husband and daughter.

“Your medical team helps you with your physical health: your A1C goals, your medication, your prescriptions. That’s their job. But when you have a question about diabetes and the rest of your life, or you need support from people who understand? That’s what The Diabetes UnConference and the safe place it creates for open discussion is for.”


Nicole Berelos, PhD, MPH, CPH, CDE
Nicole Berelos, PhD, MPH, CPH, CDEFacilitator
Dr. Nicole Bereolos, PhD, MPH, CPH, CDE is a clinical psychologist and certified diabetes educator with specialized training in public health. Originally from Illinois, she earned her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of North Texas and a MPH (health behavior) from UNT-Health Science Center. She completed her internship in family medicine and geriatrics at UNT-Health Science Center and a post-doctoral fellowship at Brown Medical School in Rhode Island.

While at Brown, she served as project director of a NIH funded grant to develop a diabetes management program in American Samoa based on the AADE7. She has experience in training community health workers in diabetes, presenting at scientific conferences, serving as a reviewer for peer-reviewed journals, co-authoring scientific papers, and working with both adults living in nursing homes with type 2 diabetes and with adolescents living with type 1 diabetes.

Nicole sees herself as an integral part of an inter-disciplinary team dedicated to helping people live with diabetes successfully. Currently, she has a private practice in Dallas and volunteers as a speaker for the American Diabetes Association-North Texas Chapter and JDRF. She loves to travel and shop and recently completed culinary school. She has also had type 1 diabetes for 22 years and has been pumping since 2000.

There are components to living with diabetes that medical professionals simply just don’t understand; it is MORE than numbers. This is an opportunity to talk with others living through the same daily struggles to have a dialogue about what has and hasn’t worked, an open door policy where everything goes…”


Bennet Dunlap, MPH
Bennet Dunlap, MPHFacilitator
Bennet is a health communicator and project manager with experience in diabetes, social media, and advocacy programs. Combining analysis, communication and humor to bring groups together to help people with diabetes, he is the father of two teens with Type 1 diabetes and is Type 2 himself. Following a 35 year career in commercial banking, he earned a Masters in Health Communication to professionally serve the diabetes community.

Bennet created the grassroots advocacy campaign for diabetes meter accuracy, which helped pave the way for many successful policy advocacy endeavors, including #FDAasksDOC, #Vote4DM, and most notably, as the co-founder of Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition. He writes the blog Your Diabetes May Vary.

“Building a strong patient community helps everyone. The Diabetes UnConference is one of the best ways to get to the heart of day-to-day living with diabetes while forging new important relationships that will keep us all healthy. Much like the Diabetes Online Community has grown to be incredibly important to so many, The Diabetes UnConference will do the same.”


Scott K. Johnson
Scott K. JohnsonFacilitator
Scott was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. He has been writing about his struggles and successes with diabetes since late 2004. Currently blogging at Scott’s Diabetes (, working as the Communications Lead, USA for mySugr, and contributing to many other diabetes related projects, Scott stays busy connecting with others living with diabetes.

Scott works full time as a freelance writer and diabetes consultant, and says, “I’m your average guy living with type 1 diabetes. I don’t have it all figured out, and sharing my struggles with diabetes helps by showing people that it is okay to still be trying to get it right, even after almost 35 years.” Scott lives with his family near the Minneapolis, MN area.

“Coming together as adults with diabetes to talk openly and safely about the unmet needs in our lives feels like a big ‘missing piece’ in the puzzle right now. Let’s do something big to change that.”


Stephen Shaul
Stephen ShaulFacilitator
Stephen has been living with Type 1 diabetes since 1991. Since April 2012, he has been writer of the diabetes blog Happy Medium, and since then, has covered a number of diabetes-related subjects, including participation in clinical trials, living a week gluten free as if he were newly diagnosed with celiac disease, and the complex relationship between patients, corporate interests, and government entities.

In November 2014, he spoke before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration during a public workshop on interoperability between diabetes devices. In November 2013, Stephen began awarding medals to people living with diabetes who achieve their athletic goals. He is a part time moderator of the popular weekly DSMA Twitter chats, and advocates for people with diabetes everywhere through support of legislation designed to reduce the burden and ensure safety of people living with diabetes, and through encouraging others by staying true to the phrase “I support you… no conditions”


Shawn Shepheard
Shawn ShepheardFacilitator
Shawn Shepheard’s life changed forever on Christmas Day 1997, when at age 30 he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It began a journey of help those who also lived with diabetes.

Shawn has been the Chair of the National Advocacy Council for the Canadian Diabetes Association, started the online TV Show “The Sugar Free Shawn Show” (profiling others living well with diabetes), written the book “Life Is Sweet”, and delivers inspiring presentations to over 10 000 people living with diabetes and healthcare providers across North America. Shawn has been awarded the National Volunteer of the Year Award and the National Advocacy Leadership Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.